Muslims denounce suicide attacks
In his article "Silence and suicide in Iraq" (Gulf News, October 13) Thomas Friedman states, "Sunni Muslim insurgents have no respect for the sanctity of Muslim lives … and no one from their own wider Sunni community moves to restrain or censure them".

I am not sure if Friedman is just aiming at raising tension between Sunnis and Shiites.

Muslims from the Far West to the Far East have denounced such acts.

From leading Muslim organisations in the United States such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations to prominent Muslim scholars in the Arab world, all have condemned it.
From Mr A. Halabi

I agree with the comments of Friedman about the suicide attack on a Shiite mosque by a "Sunni Muslim".

If the insurgents attack the occupiers, it makes sense. But why attack innocent people on a daily basis?

Their actions are against the teachings of the Quran where Allah mentions: "If anyone slew an innocent person it would be as if he slew the whole mankind and if anyone saved a life it would be as if he saved the life of the whole mankind." Quran 5:32. I condemn the attack.
From Mr M. Uvais

Spare religion
Friedman fails to understand that Iraq is a political problem, not a religious one.

Occupying forces successfully divided Iraq into Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds.

Before the invasion, they all lived together peacefully. In the Iraqi context Sunni, Shiite, Kurds are all political entities, not exactly religious groups.

There is no point in remembering or blaming the religious leaders when you have a problem. Religious leaders did not create this quagmire.
From Mr Abdul Khader

Culture shock
In his letter ("Democracy", Gulf News, Online, October 8) the writer asks, "What culture does America have compared to Saudi Arabia whose history dates back 1,400 years with the birth of Islam?"

While not claiming any superiority for American culture, I would point out that the author is asking this question in English.

I could go further, but I would hope that this is sufficient to dismiss the idea that the age of a culture is the only measure of its worth.
From Mr J. Myers
North Arlington, Virginia, US

Excessive rent
I have been renting a commercial property in Karama since January and I was given a letter in April by the landlord that my rent would increase from Dh37,000 to Dh77,000 for 2006.

I was given a tenancy contract this month stating I have to pay Dh100,000. I have spent more than Dh70,000 on the interiors.

Is this increase of more than 200 per cent justified? How can businesses survive if the landlords eat huge chunks of our hard-earned income?
From A Reader

Poor living conditions
The workers' accommodation in Al Quoz Industrial area is appalling. The building was actually meant to be a warehouse.

The allowed capacity is about 25 people, but it is now housing more than 100 workers.

It is unhygienic, there are not enough lavatories, there is water shortage and the kitchen is too small to accommodate everyone.

Some broken walls may fall any moment, along with the roof, which is dangerous.

The management is well aware of the prevailing conditions but does not seem to care.

Municipality inspectors should check this camp.
From A Reader

Time is money
Lately, the Etisalat telephone directory service number 181 appears to have a lack of listed telephone numbers.

If they do not know the number you are asking for, they reply: "Please call 7000-1-7000".

Calling this number costs Dh1.20 per minute. I have called this number maybe a dozen times and on average it takes them about three minutes to give you the correct answer.

I know we have no choice but to accept what Etisalat tells us to do.

I really don't mind paying Dh1.20 for calling 181 but I hope Etisalat could improve its service and not waste my time.
From A Reader

Editor's note:
This letter, received on September 11, was sent to the management of Etisalat, but despite repeated reminders, no response was received.

Stand-up comedy
Why are people in a hurry to get off the aircraft as soon as it lands? Probably, it is the need to be first among the rest.

If you look around, people can barely stand on one foot for 10 minutes.

Can't we be seated until it is clear to disembark and then move in an orderly manner?

It will also benefit everybody in case of an emergency. This surely warrants an announcement.
From Mr S. Abraham

Nowhere to park
During Friday prayers, worshippers find it difficult and sometimes impossible to park their cars behind the Friday Mosque situated on Ras Al Khaimah-Oman Road near Delta tools, Shell pump, due to the illegal installation of wooden carports.

They pose a fire hazard and thus should be removed immediately.
From A Reader
Ras Al Khaimah

Forewarn motorists
The police are well within their rights to close off roads, however random and pointless their efforts might appear to Dubai's motorists.

It would be helpful though if they informed motorists what they were doing.

The "plant souk" exit near Garhoud Bridge was blocked on September 27. There was no sign further up stating "Garhoud Exit Blocked" or something similar.

Hundreds of cars were driving down the road and then being forced to take a U-turn and drive all the way back.

Utterly pointless, frustrating and ultimately a major cause of increased congestion!
From Mr C. Saul

Restore order
The pedestrian crossing signal on Maktoum Road, opposite Banque Banorabe, has been moved 200 metres further down, just after Al Jazeera Road intersection.

The only outcome has been the clogging of Al Jazeera Road all the way to Al Riqqa Road as well as the other side lanes, causing tremendous inconvenience to road-users.

The positioning of the pedestrian crossing just after the side road intersection is unsafe for pedestrians.

Will the Traffic Department please put the signal lights back to where they were and alleviate our misery?
From Ms L. Joseph

Risky junction
The authorities should construct a bridge or underpass or at least a pedestrian crossing signal in front of Sahara Centre, Sharjah.

Without this, people are forced to cross the busy road at great risk to their lives.
From Mr M. Arif